Jeff Burch MPP, Niagara Centre

Government of Ontario

Ford must solve critical EMS shortage in Niagara: Burch

Published on November 30, 2021

QUEEN’S PARK – As Niagara Region faces a critical shortage in ambulance and EMS services, MPP Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) called on Doug Ford to take action and make sure families in Niagara can access the timely care they need.

“Niagara families deserve to know that if they need emergency medical services, it will be available to them,” said Burch. “Right now in Niagara, there aren’t enough ambulances or paramedics to help people experiencing medical emergencies. Families should not have to face the anguish of waiting for long periods of time by their sick or injured loved ones, wondering when the ambulance will finally arrive.”

Niagara Region Public Health and Social Services Committee has said the current situation is critical. There are often not enough ambulances to provide emergency coverage for all of Niagara, or to meet response times for critical patients. CUPE 911, the union that represents Niagara paramedics, state that they are understaffed, under-resourced and burnt-out as the demand for emergency services continues to rise.

“Ford is refusing to help while the people of Niagara are laying on stretchers or waiting anxiously for an ambulance to arrive,” Burch said. “Niagara families need their government to hire more paramedics and dispatchers, not to continue to ignore the problem.

The shortage of EMS workers and ambulances in Niagara is further aggravated by overcrowded hospitals. In the last seven months, nearly 350 patients in Niagara were left stranded for four to six hours due to ambulance off-load delays. Sixty-three people spent more than six hours on EMS stretchers waiting for a bed.